Saturday 1 October 2016

'She might die' - parents fear for their 23 stone daughter’s health on TV3's Doctor in the House

Published 26/04/2016 | 13:17

The Nyoni family. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3
The Nyoni family. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3
Gugu Nyoni. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3
Professor Niall Moyna, Dr Nina Byrnes and Dr Sinead Beirne. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3

24-year-old Gugu’s weight has escalated to over 23 stone and with a diet full of fatty foods and virtually no exercise, the nursing student has become insulin resistant.

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In this week's episode of TV3's Doctor in the House, we meet Daniel (50) and his wife Debra (49) who live in Drogheda with their daughter Gugu (24).

Originally from Zimbabwe and South Africa, they Nyonis came to Ireland as asylum seekers in 2008. Now both Daniel and Debra work the night shift as healthcare assistants in a nursing home, while Gugu is studying a pre-nursing course.

Dad Daniel refuses to take any medication for his type 2 diabetes and eats about three to four takeaways a week. Meanwhile, Gugu’s diet consists of high fatty foods and virtually no exercise.

The Nyoni family. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3
The Nyoni family. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3

Dad Daniel is seriously concerned for his daughter’s health and comments, “If Gugu doesn’t change, I am sure her life his heading down, she might die. It’s difficult for me to say that as a parent but I can see it’s going that way”.

The doctors arrive to examine the family and follow them for a week to decipher what’s going on under the surface. 

When the family arrives to the studio, they hear some shocking news; Gugu is told that at just age 24, she has become insulin resistant, which means she is in serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes; something her father already suffers from.

Dr Niall Moyna delivers some shocking news about Gugu’s health: “Your BMI is 60 and your body fat is 64 per cent, now that’s the highest I have ever recorded in DCU and I don’t know if you are fully aware of how serious this is.” 

Gugu Nyoni. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3
Gugu Nyoni. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3

Over the period of eight weeks, the Nyonis swap the takeaways for a healthier diet and lifestyle.

But will they stick to the doctors’ orders and pass the dreaded temptation test?

As usual, one of the doctors will be watching secretly from afar. At the end of eight weeks the family return to see the doctors.

What difference will their fitness and blood tests show, and how will this affect their future?

Professor Niall Moyna, Dr Nina Byrnes and Dr Sinead Beirne. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3
Professor Niall Moyna, Dr Nina Byrnes and Dr Sinead Beirne. Photo: Doctor in the House / TV3

The team of doctors and medical professionals headed up by Professor Niall Moyna, Dr Nina Byrnes and Dr Sinead Beirne.

Doctor in the House episode six airs Wednesday, April 27 at 9pm on TV3.

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